One of the appealing aspects of “The Snow Queen” that instantly won me over the unorthodox atmosphere present within this fantasy world. Director Julian Gibbs never quite opts to provide a set and strive for a period piece, instead he makes a noticeably unrealistic set piece and alters it enough to make the world of “The Snow Queen” from the impoverished village to the winter wonderland look like a moving painting as done from a surrealist of a sort. The pastels and shades to “The Snow Queen” are so utterly appealing to watch, and while I could notice the CGI, I absolutely loved what Gibbs was going for with this.
The special effects are absolutely fantastic meant to resemble a story book, and from the snow right down to the Snow Queen, I was enthralled. It reminded me an awful lot of one of my favorite fantasies “Mirromask” in that it strives on gloom and murk without ever really bringing its tone to a sad or depressing state. Also there’s factoring in the great “Alice in Wonderland” story frame for the young girl, and Gibbs succeeds with his intent. Gerda and her mom have taken in a poor homeless boy named Kay who seeks refuge from the snow and becomes her brother.
But during a sled race with his friends, Kay is taken away by the Snow Queen into her land. Now missing, Gerda refuses to forget him and is intent on finding him. “The Snow Queen” is graced with some of the most beautiful musical numbers I’ve heard in a kids film in a while, and Sydney White pulls her vocals off well. Sydney White is wonderful as the heroine of the short film, providing the requisite innocence and grace needed and is always sympathetic. “The Snow Queen” was a surprise treat for the holidays, and I loved it. Fans of “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “Mirrormask” need apply. I enjoyed “The Snow Queen” more than I thought I would, and that’s thanks to the short format, the wonderful story, the performance from Sydney White, and the incredible special effects. It’s worthy of a look or two, for sure.